Rescue in the Wild: A Smoky Mountain Stick-Boy Adventure
The author and illustrator of this series live in our area and will be visiting our school this fall. They were kind enough to come by last spring and bring copies of both books so we could become familiar with them before their visit. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the setting. Evan Mace is a typical East Tennessee kid. He has his best friend Mica, his younger sister Esther, and his faithful dog Boone. He and his parents live next-door to his grandparents (something I did when I was a kid). His dad is a park ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and that is the setting for the story - the park and Evan's home just outside the park's boundaries.
The story begins on the last day of school. Evan and Mica are looking forward to a summer of exploring and having fun, once they take care of their chores. There are only two problems - the local bully named Moose, and a new girl named Charu that has just moved in on the other side of Evan's grandparents. The boys' parents expect them to be friendly to the new kid and include her in their summer plans, which they are sure will ruin all the fun. Despite these hardships, the boys do have adventures and some good times.
Readers who live in East Tennessee will feel right at home in this story.
Thief in the Park: A Smoky Mountain Stick-Boy Adventure
I enjoyed this second book in the Stick-Boy series. It was fun to be reading along and say, "Hey! I've been there!" when they would mention a landmark like Metcalf Bottoms or Clingman's Dome. The friendship between Evan and Mica and Charu continues to grow as they help out some of their grandparent's friends who are visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. Of course, Moose has to play his mean tricks, but I think everyone will be satisfied with the just desserts he receives at the end of the book.
If you enjoy hiking and picnicking in the Smokies, then you will also be able to recognize many of the sites that Doc and his wife and friends visit. It may even get you in the mood to go see some of those places again.
For more information about the creators of this series, visit their website.